Simplifying Video Workflow Management: A Comprehensive Guide

December 3,2023

In today's world of video content creation, quantity often does battle with quality. The only way to achieve consistent yet quickly produced content is to develop a simplified video workflow management process. Whether you're a beginning editor or overseeing a professional team, your ability to efficiently manage video production is crucial. Here is everything you need to know about video workflow management and how to implement best practices cohesively

What is Video Workflow Management?

Video workflow management is the process of creating content under the guidance of strict rules and procedures. These guidelines, established before the cameras start rolling, serve as a roadmap and help to prevent disagreements and unforeseen challenges from derailing a production. For both beginners and professionals, this proactive approach ensures a smoother journey from concept to delivery.

An effective video workflow starts with a comprehensive plan of what the team wishes to achieve. Detailed guidelines on how to target the intended audience, obtain footage, and organize media assets are all aspects of the management process. Further guidelines are put in place for reviewing a fellow team member's work, editing existing assets, and archiving any changes made to the project. The result is a system of organization that keeps everyone on the same page, regardless of how long the development pipeline persists.

Once a stable workflow solution has been implemented, the degree and quality of output will enjoy a massive boon. Team members producing video assets can collaborate without a hitch, empowering them to complete tasks and reach milestones under the strictest of deadlines. Streamlining content delivery allows extra time for any obstacles and challenges that occur during production. Considering how often such hurdles arise in a professional environment, having a robust workflow setup is vital to handling the occasional bump in the road.

Simplifying Your Video Workflow

The ideal video workflow is the simplest one possible. When you have fewer moving parts, you have fewer chances of errors and unpolished work slipping through the cracks. Fewer steps also mean faster delivery times. Regardless of your experience level, embracing best practices in video workflow management can improve your operation. Let's delve into some workflow solutions that both beginners and professional editing teams can employ.

Clear Project Planning

The plan is what keeps everyone going when times get tough, and deadlines are fast approaching. To get the most out of your planning efforts, make sure everything is clear and concise. The idea is to effectively communicate the most important information regarding the project in a manner of seconds. Both to yourself and anyone else interested in looking over the schedule.

This begins with outlining the team's goals and providing a realistic roadmap that covers each expected milestone. Each goal or milestone must be accompanied by a deadline to keep everyone motivated and working towards the same pinnacle. The trick is to provide just enough time where team members must work efficiently to achieve each goal, but without forcing undue levels of crunch and overtime work.

Be sure a robust organization system is in place before new files and assets are created for the project. A disorganized directory of files can lead to a lot of wasted time as team members frantically search for misplaced digital items. If you try to create folders as you go, a disorganized mess is liable to form. Make folders for everything the production team anticipates creating in the weeks and months ahead.

Best Video Project Planning Apps for Beginners

To help keep track of your plans, there are a variety of apps that allow you to take notes, set schedules, and collaborate with large teams in remote locations. For beginners, the key is to use project planning apps that you're already familiar with and comfortable with. Some user-friendly options include:

  • Evernote or OneNote for taking notes and collaborating on outlines
  • Google Drive for sharing docs and spreadsheets
  • Google Calendar for setting timelines
  • Trello or Asana for task management

Best Video Project Planning Apps for Pro Teams

There's no reason that a professional team can't use any of the above-mentioned user-friendly apps. However, some larger creative teams could benefit from incorporating more robust apps with advanced features, such as:

  • Monday.com or Jira for project management
  • Slack or Microsoft Teams for real-time communication and version control
  • Wrike for advanced project management and tracking features

Efficient Pre-Production

Pre-production may seem less exciting than actually filming, but this phase determines how smoothly production will run once it kicks off. It is the bedrock that also determines how the overall final product will shape up when all is said and done. This makes pre-production arguably the most important step in the whole video production pipeline – for both beginning editors and large creative teams.

At some point in the project, the artistic goals of the creators and the business goals of the company must converge. Ideally, this occurs during pre-production so there are no surprises later on during development. To reconcile these aspects of the project effectively, story ideas are developed and then analyzed for market viability.

Creatives communicate their ideas through storyboarding and script production. Storyboards are basic comics that detail the events of the plot in easily digestible terms. The script includes a more thorough breakdown of everything that occurs in the video, including any spoken dialogue and sound effects to be added. To reconcile the storyboard and script with the business plan, be sure that the content described by the storyboard will appeal to the intended demographic of fans or customers.

Another important aspect of pre-production is planning out each filming location and the methods used to obtain footage. Scouting out physical locations beforehand is always preferable to just assuming that each spot will be conducive to filming. Confirm each area is ready to use before dragging a camera crew out to an unsuitable locale. Having to switch the filming schedule during production can cost a lot of time and money, so it is best to plan ahead and avoid this mistake entirely.

Pre-Production Tips for Beginners

Use storyboarding tools: Even if you're working on a small project, storyboarding can help you save time – and produce a better product – in the long run. One of the best free options is Storyboarder, which lets you export to editing software programs like Avid.

Use scriptwriting apps: Scriptwriting can be quite a challenge for entry-level creators. However, easy-to-use apps such as WriterDuet and Celtx can ease the burden by guiding you through the script creation process.

Use location scouting apps: It's no surprise that beginning editing crews often have limited budgets. Thankfully, there are some excellent low-cost location-scouting apps like Sun Surveyor and Helios Pro that can find suitable filming locations.

Pre-Production Tips for Pro Teams

Invest in advanced storyboarding programs: Bigger, more complex productions will benefit from more robust storyboarding programs such as FrameForge or PowerProduction. Both options are widely used by bigger studios that need animated video presentations.

Use collaborative scriptwriting suites: Some of the top scriptwriting suites for professional teams include Studio Pro and Final Draft. These tools offer advanced features to facilitate collaborative script development.

Use demographic analysis tools: Professional teams need to use in-depth demographic insights to help better reach the targeted audiences. The most advanced tools include Nielsen Media Impact and Tubular Labs, both of which offer which offers comprehensive demo data.

Collaboration and Communication

It is common for content creators to work in remote locations rather than a centralized office. Even in a traditional office setting, communication is the lifeblood of any video project. Each team member should have effortless access to chatting and version management software.

If you're a beginner working mostly solo, you may not even need a collab app. For small to moderately-sized projects, Teams or Slack works great. As for larger professional crews, consider setting up an advanced tool that allows everyone to log and archive changes made to the project. Version management apps such as Perforce or Asana will help keep everything organized as hundreds of assets get shuffled between multiple computers.

Efficient Shooting

On days of prolonged filming, it can be tempting to cut corners and drop organizational practices. Unfortunately, getting lax during this stage will make post-production significantly more difficult. An efficient and well-planned shooting schedule is the key to success when the cameras are rolling. Start by compiling a list of all the shots you need. Mark off each one as you capture it and ensure it's labeled properly. This will make it way easier for an editor to review and compile the footage into a cohesive video.

Scouting a location before filming can save you a great deal of time as well. Determine the best time of day for the lighting you need and check the weather to ensure your session won't be rained out. If you expect inclement weather, film an indoor scene in another spot to avoid a wasted day.

Data Management

Your body of footage will likely include dozens of extra clips on top of all the mandatory shots you need. A methodical naming and storage system is the best way to deal with the expanding collection of files made during production. Use a simple naming convention such as capitalizing the first letter of each word in the file name. Ensure each label is easy to read at a glance.

When it comes to storage, it's important to create at least one backup that exists on physical hardware. Cloud solutions are convenient but fail to offer the same degree of control that a physical hard drive allows. When choosing a storage drive, stick with reputable brands to ensure your data is preserved for as long as possible.

Advanced Video Editing for Post-Production

Technology has come very far since the days of early filmmaking. Now, anyone with an internet connection and a modern computer can access professional-grade software tools for editing and producing video content. For instance, a tool such as Avid Media Composer is filled to the brim with advanced editing features that cater to beginners and professionals. The latest updates include support for AI-enhanced features such as PhraseFind and ScriptSync AI. These tools leverage the power of algorithms and automation of routine tasks to speed up your workflow.

Media Composer's new Panel SDK also provides unprecedented support for third-party API integration with a variety of other tools. If the base editor does not have the feature you need right away, you'll be able to add it with the proper extension.

Automation and Workflow Tools

Avid has a suite of tools dedicated to making video workflows more efficient. The collection of post-production tools includes handy software such as Avid NEXIS Edge and Avid Link that help connect creatives from across the globe.

Avid NEXIS | Edge is a management solution that allows remote workers to all meet in one digital location for easy sharing of project files. Seamless integration with other Avid products makes NEXIS simple to use, especially when the team is already using other Avid services such as Media Composer. Team members can share and access their work in other apps from anywhere using the intuitive web client that comes with a Media Composer Enterprise subscription.

Avid Link is an innovative new platform that helps creatives find new talent as additional roles are needed for projects. Promote samples of your work to drum up excitement or find other artists to collaborate with. Getting started on passion projects is much easier when you have an effective way to build a like-minded team willing to share your vision.

Elevating Your Video Workflow

The key to meeting deadlines and turning out a finished product everyone can be proud of is to maintain a cohesive workflow throughout each phase of production. A little planning and organization go a long way toward completing a published project. Spen pre-production ironing out every little detail to ensure filming will go smoothly. Write everything out in a concise manner and back up any assets that created during the initial phase.

As you start filming, keep a strong sense of organization by properly naming files and clips as they're created. Prevent scheduling delays by scouting out locations beforehand to ensure you can film when you intend to. There should be no surprises during production, provided the project manager plans far enough ahead.

Once you move onto the editing and post-production portion of the project, take advantage of Avid's suite of software tools to finish off strong. A Media Composer Enterprise subscription comes with additional tools such as Avid NEXIS | Edge that help facilitate collaboration amongst the whole team. The collection of apps serves as an all-in-one project workflow management solution that is universally suitable for any video creation project you can dream of.

References:

[1] https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/workflow-management

[2] https://www.avid.com/solutions/video-post-production?irclickid=QqUS3:yp1xyPUGfUoBxPySMDUkFQpiShuRzs100&utm

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